History of Art Graduate Department of Art

Mostafa, Heba

Assistant Professor, Islamic Art and Architecture (UT St. George)

Email: h.mostafa@utoronto.ca

Heba Mostafa received her doctorate from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture in 2012, where she also taught courses on Islamic art and architecture. She previously held positions at the American University in Cairo and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology. She holds a B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University (2001) and an MA in Islamic Art and Architecture (2006) from the American University in Cairo. Between 2012 and 2014 she was the Sultan Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow/ Visiting Assistant Professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, in the areas of History of Islamic Art, Architecture, and Urbanism. Between 2015-2016 she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence where she explored the role of narrative in shaping sacred space in early Islam. Between 2014-2017 she was Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism at the Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on the early development of Islamic architecture with an emphasis on the interaction between the political and religious in the articulation of early Islamic authority within the mosque, palace and shrine.

Areas of Academic Interest
  • Early Islamic architectural and urban history (Central Islamic Lands)
  • Medieval architectural and urban history: Cairo and Jerusalem (7th-16th c.)
Current Research
  • Heba Mostafa’s research explores the development of Islamic architecture during the seventh and eighth centuries with an emphasis on the interaction of the political and religious in the mosque, palace and shrine. Her first article “The Early Mosque Revisited: Introduction of the Minbar and the Maqsura,” reconsiders textual evidence for the early mosque and challenges notions of formal influence in the interpretation of mosque architecture.
 Her book project examines similar themes in a broader context, to include the early palace and sites of pilgrimage in the Umayyad period alongside the mosque. Appearing in Fall 2017, her most recent article, “From the Dome of the Chain to the Miḥrāb Da’ūd: The Transformation of an Umayyad Commemorative Site at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem,” re-examines evidence for Davidic commemoration in Medieval Islamic Jerusalem beyond the Haram al-Sharif. Heba is working on two side projects, the first focused on Nile veneration practices in Medieval Cairo and the second focused on the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem during the period of the Crusades, the latter funded in part by the Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories Program (Art of the Crusades: A Re-Evaluation).
Education
  • PhD, History and Philosophy of Architecture, Department of Architecture (2007-2012) University of Cambridge, King’s College
  • MA, Islamic Art and Architecture (2003-2006) American University in Cairo
  • B.Sc., Architectural Engineering (1996-2001) Cairo University
Selected Publications
  • 2016

    Mostafa, H.,  “The Early Mosque Revisited: Introduction of the Minbar and the Maqsura,” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World, 33, 2016, 1-16.

  • 2017

    Mostafa, H., “From the Dome of the Chain to the Miḥrāb Da’ūd: The Transformation of an Umayyad Commemorative Site at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem,” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World, 34, 2017, 1-22.

  • Forthcoming 2018

    Mostafa, H. (Forthcoming-2018),  “The Throne in Early Islam: Contested Narratives of Religious and Political Authority,” Journal of the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Recent Awards
  • 2015-2017 Arts of the Crusades, International Research Program Grant, Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories Program and School of Oriental and African Studies, London .
  • 2015-2016 Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz-Max Planck Foundation Fellowship, Florence, Italy.

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